I prefer pandoro to Christmas pudding any day. Dusted heavily with icing sugar and placed in the centre of the table to tear pieces from, I like to serve it with prosecco-poached peaches or nectarines and mascarpone. This version is an alternative to my favourite pandoro dessert; grilled, the peaches and jam add to the decadence. This particular yeast cake can be served either as a dessert or as a teacake, and is best eaten on the day that it is made.
- 125 ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk
- 28 gm dry yeast (4 sachets)
- 65 gm raw caster sugar, plus extra for glazing
- 600 gm (4 cups) plain flour
- 125 gm butter, softened
- 2 egg yolks
- 180 ml (¾ cup) pouring cream
- 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 tbsp of water, for eggwash
- For dusting: pure icing sugar
- To serve: mascarpone
- 6 yellow peaches, scored
- 100 gm raw caster sugar
- 5 yellow peaches, halved, stones removed
- 75 gm (1/3 cup) raw caster sugar
- 1Combine milk, yeast and 1 tbsp caster sugar in a bowl. Set aside until foamy (5-10 minutes). Sift in 50gm flour and stand until foamy (5-10 minutes). In the bowl of a food processor with a dough attachment, sift in remaining flour and pinch of salt. Add butter and remaining sugar and beat until pale. Change attachment to a dough hook, add flour and yeast mixture, egg yolks and cream and process until a smooth dough forms (5-10 minutes). Turn onto a work surface and knead until smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes). Transfer dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours).
- 2Preheat oven to 200C. Meanwhile, for peach jam, blanch peaches until skins split (10-20 seconds), then refresh. Drain, then peel peaches (discard skin), coarsely chop flesh (discard stones) and place in a saucepan with sugar and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until jam consistency is reached and volume has reduced to 375ml (20-30 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- 3Knock back dough and roll out to a 65cm-long log shape. Twist log, bring ends together and knot to seal. Transfer to a baking paper-lined oven tray, bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 170C. Brush cake with eggwash, scatter with extra caster sugar and bake until cooked through and golden (30-35 minutes).
- 4For grilled peaches, preheat a grill to high. Place peach halves, cut-side up, on an oven tray and scatter with sugar. Grill until golden and bubbling (5-10 minutes). Serve cake warm, dusted with icing sugar, topped with grilled peaches, and with peach jam and mascarpone to the side.